The Cave Countess
I wanted to design an interesting aesthetic for small, but great animal.


My idea was to represent this animal as in fairytale. I tried to combine the real fascinating appearance of this animal with the touch of my own idea of cave kingdom.

Which animal(s) did you choose as a visual and why?

I chose one tiny endemic animal Proteus anguinus, commonly called “human fish” because of it’s fascinating way of life. It’s called “human fish” because of it’s skin colour similar to caucasian people. In Croatia we often say for someone pale that looks like “human fish”. This animal lives in complete darkness in cave's waters found in Dinaric Alps. “Human fish” is completely blind and it's skin is transparent, so it’s pale pink skin tone actually comes from capillary under skin.

What culture or region does the animal stand for?

This endemic specie lives in area of Dinaric Alps, in underground waters of Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Hercegovina and Montenegro.

What story does your design tell?

It tells the story of one small, cave kingdom…

What style did you choose for your design and why?

I chose the style that seemed to me to be the best way to show the greatness of this creature. When I started doing it, the first inspirations were old book illustrations for Croatian most popular children’s writer Ivana Brlić Mažuranić, “Šuma Striborova”. I mostly used few elements and multiple them to get this design.

Please make sure you have filled out your country of origin in your profile! It’s important that the regional Victorinox team understands the cultural background of your design.

I'm Croatian and the fish is one quarter Croatian!

Have you used any third-party material? Even if you’ve modified or combined it, please know that in this project no stock material is accepted. See “Guidelines, regulations & comments” (in the brief)


To be featured on facebook as the Victorinox "Pick of the Day" please write a short statement about you (see more details in the brief).

I'm Hana, product designer from Croatia. I work as shoe designer, but also from time to time love to escape to different projects such as designing interiors, furniture and graphics.

Other entries in this project